The Rose Performing Arts

Restoring a Classic Movie Palace

When the Riviera Theater opened in 1927, people in Omaha had never seen anything like it. Designed by the inventor of the “atmospheric theater”, John Eberson (1875-1954), it was an fanciful combination of Italian Renaissance and Moorish Revival.

The Rose Performing Arts

The Riviera Theater opened in 1927.

The Rose Performing Arts

The theater’s interior was like an outside piazza built for dreams.

To add to the overall fantasy, Eberson perched 9 gargoyles high above the street, to observe (and startle) theater goers. After 90 years of “deferred maintenance, the renamed Rose Theater needed a complete $6 million restoration (see website for video).

The Rose Performing Arts

Original gargoyle.

The Rose Performing Arts

In addition to replacing major portions of the exterior terra cotta, Boston Valley scanned the original gargoyle sculptures and reproduced them using traditional sculpting techniques.

The Rose Performing Arts

We also used the digital scan and modeling technology to produce a small fund raising piece for donors. Rather than looking down from above, the Gargoyle, now a bookend was re-posed to look the donors in the eye. The finished pieces were fired with different glazes.

The Rose Performing Arts

Mini gargoyles by Boston Valley used as a gift to donors of the restoration project.

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